God’s grace is manifested within the boundaries of the kind of life, body, and circumstances that God, in His sovereign will, has given to you and to me.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Oh, I’m fine, thank you, and I trust you are as well. If you’ve struck a rough day, well, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one,” and He will. Step by step with your Lord, Enoch walked with God step by step. “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord, and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” You’re held in a strong hand today, friend, you don’t have to worry. Only time you have to worry is when you’re not sure God can handle things.
Somebody wrote me the nicest letter, came in some time ago. Now the person that wrote it is a legal assistant and works for a number of attorneys, and has some days that are quite filled with stress. And she said it’s just so nice to come home, she hears the broadcast in the evening, to come home and turn on the radio and hear somebody that calls her friend and tells her that Jesus loves her, and that God can see her through. [chuckle] Well, hallelujah. It’s all true, isn’t it? I am so glad that it’s true.
Well, you and I have been looking at Ephesians 4, and I wanted just to emphasize some thoughts in verse 7 of Ephesians 4, before we go on a little farther. He said “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ, the measure of the gift of Christ, the grace of God is without limit.”
Do you remember the song, “His grace hath no measure, His love has no limit. He giveth more grace?” James 4:6 said in Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee”, according to the grace of Christ, the given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. But what I wanna just emphasize in these moments, is that you’re not left out of God’s gift of grace. Whoever you are, think about yourself just now. It may well be that like many others, you’ve started giving up on yourself in terms of being anything other than how you are now. Maybe you’re discouraged, maybe you feel hemmed in, shut in, fenced in. Maybe circumstances seem always to be against you, and maybe in your own body, you have certain handicaps that keep you from functioning as you would like in this societal setup.
Well, I thought, while I was praying today, getting ready for these few words, I thought of something that Bob Palmer told in my hearing, couple of years ago, and it stuck with me, came back to me then as I was praying, and I think maybe I should share it with you. He said, there came to their conference grounds called Sandy Cove down there in Maryland, he said “There came a young man who was handicapped, he had a birth defect which now, although he was grown and had been schooled, kept him from speaking clearly or walking except with difficulty. And that of course immediately then set him aside in terms of any effective interaction in society, if you were thinking in terms either of athletics or of competition in business, or of Christian ministry.
But he was there, and he gave his heart to the Lord and began to grow spiritually. And then came this series of messages by somebody challenging Christians to get out there and do something, don’t just sit around, wait to go to glory. You know the theme, we frequently hear it, especially at Bible conferences where the saints need to be rejuvenated, re-challenged. Well, this young man took it seriously. “I’m supposed to do something.” And Bob Palmer said the young man came to him and said, “But what can I do?” And Bob really didn’t know. And he tried to put him off, but the young man came again and again, “What can I do? I have to do something. What can I do?”
And Bob finally said in an off-hand manner, he really didn’t realize what he was telling the young man, but he said to him, “Well, help other people like yourself.” And that was the start of some deep thought on the young man’s part. Today, he is the manager of six or seven, I think it is, separate homes for handicapped people, most of them in Ohio. “What can I do?” Well, he thought about it. He began to do something within the parameters of his own life setup. Grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. I’ve often wished I could sing. If I could sing like Beverly Shea, that’d be great, but I can’t. Nobody ever asks me to sing solos, and I think I know why. [chuckle] And I’ve often wished that I were a whiz at math, for example, but I’m not. I can still read a P&L statement and find the bottom line. That’s an acquired ability that comes to you after a while. But some of these people with computer-like minds, who can look at a whole page of figures and tell you what it says, I don’t have that gift. I wish I did.
Oh dear. We’re all different. We all have different abilities, don’t we? But there was a young man who didn’t have what we would consider the abilities or the skills to function creatively in any segment of society, and he went out and started all these different homes that are now operating very well for other handicapped people. And to every one of us, every one of us, do you think you don’t have any gifts? Oh, yes you do. God’s gift is resident within the limits of what you call your limitations. You wanna think about that? God’s gracious gift through Christ is located within the parameters of what you call your limits, or your handicaps, or your inabilities. Inside of that area is God’s ability to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think.
Joni Eareckson, quadriplegic, beautiful life suddenly made painful through an accident, now unable then to move her arms or legs. What does she do? She ministers to people by the thousands. She paints beautiful pictures by holding the paintbrush in her teeth. She hosts a daily radio program and sometimes television. She is an inspiration to thousands of people who are part of her fellowship for handicapped folk. See, God’s grace within the parameters of what you and I call our limitations. Would you take hold of that today to every one of us? That’s you too. Little girl was asked what “whosoever” means, she said “You and me and everybody else.” [chuckle] That’s it.
To every one of us is given, means it’s already a fact, you don’t have to ask God for more grace, it’s already yours, is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ, God’s gift of Christ. How much of Christ? This is kind of a dumb question, but you’ll see why I’m asking in a minute. How much of Jesus is in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”? How much of Jesus, our Lord Jesus Christ, how much of him is in John 3:16? Well you say, all of him. Yes, all of him, all of him. The gift of Christ means all that the Lord Jesus Christ is has been given for you and to you. Huh? You follow that? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:21, “Let no man glory in men, for all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” You’re wrapped up in the very life of Christ.
“Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of the Father,” you find that in Colossians 3. “Risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” Then he says in verse 4, in verse 3, “Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.”
So we were talking Ephesians 4:7, “Grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ,” how much of Him? All of him. How much of God’s grace is available to you? All of it. No limit, no limit, no limit. And God’s grace is manifested then within the boundaries of the kind of life and the kind of body and the kind of circumstances that God in His sovereign will has given to you and to me.
So today, as you face life, or some of you listen to this late in the evening and you’re about to fall asleep, well, if you’re late in the evening, before you say your prayers completely, open your heart to the God of grace. He’s called the God of all grace. Open your heart to Him and thank Him for what He’s given to you in Christ, and then start to believe Him for His working, His exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, working in your life. He wants to do something special for you, beloved. God, our loving Heavenly Father, wants to do something special for you, if that is, if you’ll allow Him by faith to do so.
Precious Father, thank you for giving us Jesus and all of the upward grace of God. Help us to believe Thee for it as we work within the limits of Thy provision in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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